Healthy Summer Habits
Happy summer! This is our favorite time of year here at Nourish. We love the longer days, the warm sunsets, and of course, the wide variety of fresh, seasonal produce. To soak up the most joy out of these beautiful days, we want you to feel your best, so we’ve put together a guide for healthy summer habits to keep you feeling well.
When the temperature heats up, as it certainly does here on the Central Coast, staying hydrated becomes that much more important. It’s recommended that we consumer half an ounce of water for every pound of body weight, so for a 150-pound person, that’s at least 75 ounces of water, or about 9 glasses per day. If you’re sweating or spending extra time outside in the sun, then we recommend even more water. Hydration is key for several body functions: metabolism, digestion, skin maintenance and repair, and more.
At summer parties - bbq’s, pool parties, happy hours - keep a glass of water nearby at all times and take a few sips each time you finish another drink (hello, sangria!).
Drink a glass before and after exercise, and take small sips throughout, as needed.
Make it tasty! Flavor your water with combinations like fresh lemon and cucumber, and berries and mint.
Sunlight and Vitamin D
The sun is finally out and ready to shine all day, so now is the time to get outside and soak it up! Our bodies use sunlight to help us make vitamin D (1), which is an important factor in bone health and may help prevent certain cancers and cardiovascular diseases (2). As the saying goes with food, everything in moderation applies to vitamin D as well. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen! The sun’s rays can still damage skin, but sunscreen won’t block absorption of vitamin D.
Sunshine is at its strongest between the hours of 10 AM and 3 PM, so lather up the sunscreen and soak up the sunshine.
Food sources of vitamin D include salmon, tuna, milk and yogurt, and egg yolks. Find some tasty summer recipes and (vitamin d)ig in!
And while you’re outside, move around! Take a hike or a walk by the beach, get some exercise, go for a swim, dance to your favorite song - there are so many ways to let your body move, however it feels best for you. Of course, be sure to stay hydrated and sunscreen’d up if you’re moving outdoors. The heat can make us feel tired, even if we haven’t been moving a lot during the day. This could be a sign to hydrate more, or to get a little extra movement. Sometimes, our muscles just need a little waking up, a gentle nudge, to start moving and feeling good.
Find a buddy! You may find that you enjoy your movement a little more with a friend, and that friend could serve as your motivation to push a little harder, try new exercises, and really challenge yourself.
Vary your routine. Swim one day, run the next, and use your bodyweight the day after that. Mixing up your exercise routine keeps it exciting, helps prevent workout boredom, and gives your muscles something new to try everyday!
Don’t forget to rest! Giving yourself adequate rest is crucial in enjoying your exercise and helping to ensure its efficiency. Without enough rest, muscles won’t recover well enough to rebuild and prepare for the next day of exercise.
Local, seasonal produce
Ahhh, our favorite part - berries! Melons! Summer squash! Cucumber! Tomato! Corn! Avocado! Summer produce is some of the best all year round. Berries are packed with antioxidants; avocado nourishes our cells with healthy, unsaturated fats; corn provides complex carbohydrates and fiber; and melons, cucumber, and summer squash are great food sources of water to help us stay hydrated and well-fed.
Buy local! Head to the nearest farmers market to find all your favorites for an affordable price and, most likely, organic produce. Most local farms don’t use pesticides or other chemicals on their produce, but might not be “USDA Organic” because of the work required to get that seal. Just because it isn’t there doesn’t always mean the produce isn’t organic.
Get creative! Many of these fruits and veggies can be mixed and matched to make delicious summer salads, pastas, and chilled soups. Try tomato, corn, and avocado mixed with balsamic vinegar and olive oil and your favorite seasonings, or cucumber and melon with mint, honey, and a little spice.
We hope that these tips just got you a little more excited for and prepared to get the most out of these amazing summer months. When you’re not at the beach or backyard barbecues, we look forward to welcoming you into Nourish. See you soon!